What strikes me most about the presidential election season of 2012 is how relatively civil it has been. Yes, there have been controversies over taxes, embassy bombings, Big Bird, the humane treatment of animals, and NPR. Yet, all things being considered, with the exception of the man-fight that almost took place during the second presidential debate, I think this campaign season speaks volumes of our President (regardless of your opinion of him), his challenger (regardless of your opinion of him), and the parameters that we as a country have developed as to what we are willing to accept during our presidential elections.
(So please take it easy on your politically dissenting Facebook friends and Twitter followers… it could be so much worse.)
We are a country who in recent decades observed campaigns that belittled American heroes, outed mistresses, mocked American veterans, and exploited our fears of terrorism and the unknown. Yet, for the first time in many years, I see an election that is coming down to the original question that sits at the fabric of our political system: Do we prioritize and protect those who have already achieved the American dream or do we prioritize the need to help those who are still striving to reach it?
Our country, founded on the philosophies of striving and achieving, working and reaping, endeavoring and succeeding, promotes ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – goals that can often only be achieved through the accumulation of wealth and the opportunities that come from it. How could one not understand why so many fight to protect it once they achieve it? I get it…I really do.
However, it is during those times when stock markets crash, and hurricanes come, and when circumstances outside of our control plague the path towards self-actualization do we more clearly realize that we are a country equally entitled to uplift others as we are entitled to our own individual economic prosperity.
So in the end, I could articulate nuances of the policies of the two candidates, but I won’t.
I could debate the leadership record of one over the vacillating opinions of the other…but I’ve already done that.
Now…it’s just time to vote.